EXC: New Dronfield housing estate could fund Sheffield FC’s move

Richard Tims, Sheffield FC.
Richard Tims, Sheffield FC.
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Sheffield FC - the world’s oldest club - has raised only £33,000 of the anticipated £150,000 they needed to launch a feasibility study into their move from Dronfield back to their ‘spiritual home’ in Olive Grove.

But the club has also submitted preliminary plans for 90 houses on land at their current Coach and Horses ground. If a full application was accepted - some of the area is green belt land - that could fund their move.

Planning proposal for housing development at Sheffield FC's Dronfield home, the Coach and Horses

Planning proposal for housing development at Sheffield FC's Dronfield home, the Coach and Horses

Chairman Richard Tims was disappointed the initial target was not reached in the 60-day window they set themselves.

But he said the campaign was continuing and he had international meetings lined up to attract more investment.

This included negotiations with Qatar, the country which had recently put £100,000 into non-league Sheffield’s female soccer programme.

“We have got a few more irons in the fire - big brands around the world, but some things are under wraps” he said.

“We still hope to reach the £150,000 target, but from a separate pot. The Olive Grove project will go ahead.”

Sheffield have yet to sign a Heads of Terms agreement with the city council for a 50-year-lease of the Heeley site.

Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United have both made small investments in the “Football Coming Home” programme.

The £30,000 collected will go towards legal/architect’s fees and Olive Grove work, Tims said.

The chairman said he hoped the Coach and Horses pub would remain in any development in Dronfield - but that would depend on the developer.

He said it would be a couple of months before the planning situation “would show its hand” and that the North East Derbyshire local authority, in common with others, were on the look-out to increase housing stock.